Archive for the ‘travels’ Category

Roasted Broccoli & Quinoa Salad

January 5, 2014 3 comments
Machu Picchu

View of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate

We just got back from our belated honeymoon in Peru: a few days acclimating to the altitude in Cusco, 4 days/3 nights hiking the Inca Trail, a few days relaxing at a resort & spa in the Sacred Valley and then New Year’s Even and another few days eating my weight in ceviche in Lima.

I knew the Inca Trail would be a personal challenge but at no point did I ever hit a wall, as I often do while running. Hiking the Inca Trail was an amazing experience: it allowed me the time to reflect on my own life, learn about the history of the Quechua/Inca, practice my terrible Spanish, and take in some crazy views that I will probably never experience again in this lifetime. When we finally arrived to Machu Picchu, I never wanted to leave…except a beer, shower and clean bed (in that order) sounded pretty good. Read more…


Beef Goulash

March 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Goulash & Polenta

I know, it has been a while. I’ve been traveling a lot, both for work and for fun. Spent a weekend in Sonoma sipping wine and relaxing with friends. Went to Seattle for work and actually spent a little time in the city for a change. Had some beer in Denver. Went to the Salt Lick for their famous Texas BBQ (for those of you who don’t want to drive, its also available at the Austin airport). Spent three days at the Dallas airport. Made a second trip to Austin to run my first half marathon in over four years! Slowest time ever clocked, but a finish is a finish. Celebrated with dinner at Paul Qui’s Uchiko restaurant. Read more…

Categories: food, meat, soup, travels Tags:

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

December 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

Oh hello, there! It’s been a while, but I’ve still been cooking. Lots to catch up on…including a silky cauliflower soup and cioppino. Apparently I go crazy for crab around the holidays. But first things first, I made this cornbread sausage stuffing for Friendsgiving the weekend we got back from Argentina.

Perito Moreno GlacierOn Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina

The original recipe wants you to whirl the baked cornbread in a food processor but I cut mine into bite sized chunks more reminiscent of a crusty bread-based stuffing. I used spicy Italian sausage for this version but in the future I would prefer an andouille sausage or chorizo to kick the flavor up a notch. The Italian sausage didn’t have the flavor I was hoping for (the original inspiration for this stuffing was the cajun turducken stuffing). However, this is a good base recipe to use in the future. Read more…

Categories: Cajun, food, sides, travels Tags: ,

Travel, adventure and food!

November 29, 2011 1 comment

Glacier Perito MorenoJust me on the giant Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia

We’ve spent the last two weeks exploring Argentina with day trips to Chile and Uruguay. Now we’re back and trying to catch up on life. New food posts coming soon!

Categories: food, Latin American, travels Tags: ,

Nem Khao (Laotian Fried Rice Ball Salad)

August 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Chiang Mai
Nem khao from a street vendor in Chiang Mai

In December 2009, I spent 2 weeks in Thailand. My favorite thing about the trip was the food. One of the most memorable dishes was a fried rice ball salad, which I later learned is called Nem Khao.

My friends and I were wandering the street markets in Chiang Mai and stopped at a stall where a woman was frying mystery balls and tossing them with peanuts, ginger, shallots, scallions and what looked like pork skins. After a lot of staring, the woman handed us some mystery balls to try–turned out they were fried balls of seasoned rice! We stood staring a little more before the woman asked if we’d like to buy some…duh! We all shared a serving and I was sold: salty, sweet, sour and crunchy…all in one bite! I found the rice ball salad one more time in Bangkok, but it wasn’t nearly as good…the rice balls were a little stale.

When I got home, my Thai friend identified the dish as Nem Khao, which is a Laotian dish that can also be found in Northern Thailand. As you can imagine, I couldn’t find any restaurants in Chicago that served Nem Khao…and there are only a few restaurants in the Bay Area that serve it. A few weeks ago, my friends took me to Champa Garden in Oakland for the Nem Khao and it was as amazing as I remembered.

As we were eating, I knew I had two choices 1) drive to Oakland every time I have a craving or 2) learn to make it myself. I figured I would try to make it myself and I’m glad I did. This is one of the best dishes I’ve made so far. Read more…

Categories: Asian, food, Thai, travels Tags: , ,

Belizean Chicken Stew & Coconut Rice

April 4, 2011 11 comments

IMG_4729Belize – April 2008

These are my girls; I know I can always count on them. Although the four of us haven’t lived in the same city since college, we get together as often as life allows. Once in a while, we find the time to take an always memorable trip together. In 2008, we went to Belize to celebrate our 30th birthdays.

IMG_4586 My first meal in Belize: chicken stew w/coleslaw and coconut rice & beans

Prior to arriving in Belize, I had spent a week traveling through Costa Rica. While the nature was fantastic, I was severely disappointed by the food. I avoided the ubiquitous American fare; everything else was fried, bland or required copious amounts of hot sauce to choke down. After my first meal in Belize, a chicken stew over coconut rice and beans, I knew I would be happy eating in this country. This chicken stew is served everywhere (with a cold beer) and I never got tired of it during the week we spent there.

Belizean Chicken Stew & Coconut RiceBelizean chicken stew over brown coconut rice

I have never forgotten this chicken stew but have had a hard time tracking down a recipe. I also couldn’t find any recado until a recent trip to downtown LA’s Grand Central Market. The red brick of recado resulted in an extra inspection at airport security but was totally worth it. I scoured the internet for recipes and realized that this is the Belizean version of adobo–everyone has a slightly different recipe.

Here’s what I decided on:

Read more…

Eating on the go

October 18, 2010 2 comments

Lobster roll from Sam's Chowdermobile

Sam’s Chowdermobile served lunch near my office last week and my $15 lobster roll did not disappoint. That’s a lot to spend for lunch but I’ve been craving lobster rolls for the last 18 months.

I travel about 2 days a week for work and earlier last week found myself stuck in Dallas for several hours. Luckily, they had a Red Mango.

Stuck at DFW for a bit

Not so luckily, I had a choice of McDonald’s (again) or TGIFriday’s. The last time I was at DFW, I had a surprisingly tasty steak salad at TGIFriday’s so thought I’d try my luck again. No dice, but my waiter was a smart and friendly kid.

TGIFridays @ DFW

Why does airport food have to be so awful?

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